Orange County Government, Florida

Homelessness Services and Initiatives

PURPOSE

Orange County Government is the single largest funder of public services for the homeless in Central Florida. Currently, Orange County funds more than $5 million annually for an array of services, including housing, supportive services, crisis assistance, eviction prevention, and mental health and substance abuse assessment.

Together with advocates from the tri-county region, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs has taken a leadership role in the effort to end homelessness. With the Board of County Commissioners and a wide network of partners, Mayor Jacobs is working to transform the lives of our homeless children and families, the chronically homeless and our military veterans. As a result, Orange County collaborates and provides funding for numerous community organizations that impact homelessness.

PROCESS

Mayor Jacobs continues to co-chair the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness (CFCH), which is working to impact homelessness and poverty issues in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. CFCH began in 2007 as a grassroots organization and was renewed in 2012 with a strategic mission, fueled by a profound desire to end homelessness in our region. The CFCH is a nonprofit organization and coordinates with government, other nonprofits, faith-based institutions, philanthropic initiatives, private sector businesses, and other charitable and community organizations to impact homelessness in Central Florida. Several committees have been formed by CFCH, including the Family Homelessness Committee and an Orange County committee to coordinate with the region, both of which are priorities for Mayor Jacobs.

ACTION

Homeless Services Network (HSN) is the lead agency for the Central Florida continuum of care. It provides Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding for six jurisdictions: Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties and the cities of Orlando, Sanford and Kissimmee. Established in 1993, HSN has brought more than $50 million in HUD, Veterans Administration (VA) and state of Florida funds to Central Florida to provide assistance to the homeless. HSN funds programs that provide transitional and permanent housing, supportive services and ongoing case management.

WHERE TO GET HELP

Orange County Government serves chronically homeless adults, veterans and vulnerable families and children through a variety of commissions and programs:

  • The Families, Health and Social Services programs that provide a helping hand in a time of need are compiled on a single page. Click on any of the 24 programs listed to find information and assistance.
  • The Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Commission is developing new strategies and initiatives to address the issues Orange County women and children face, including when they leave a dangerous situation and are suddenly homeless. For immediate help call Harbor House of Central Florida at 407-886-2856.
  • The Youth Mental Health Commission is a 20-member group of elected officials, law enforcement and community leaders convened by Mayor Jacobs to examine the system of care, issues and access to resources for children.
  • The Belvin Perry Jr. Central Receiving Center (CRC) has been a single point of entry for mental health and substance use disorders and homelessness since its opening in 2003. The CRC accepts crisis mental health and substance abuse consumers in need of acute care services in our community.
  • The Prescription Drug Task Force was formed by Mayor Jacobs to examine the issues associated with addiction and to develop prevention strategies.

Contact Us

Donna Wyche
Division Manager, Mental Health and Homeless Issues
Email: Donna.Wyche@ocfl.net
Phone: 407-836-7608
Fax: 407-836-7583

For More Information
Email: homeless.info@ocfl.net